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The Color of Homeownership

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It’s no secret that the nation’s homeownership rate has reached its lowest point since the Census Bureau began tracking it in 1994. What’s less known is how greatly homeownership divides America by race.  New research from the Pew Institute raises fears that the bleaching of homeownership will continue for at least another generation. In 23 years of boom and bust, ... Read More »

Better Days are Ahead for Marginal Home Buyers?

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As the top officials to serve in the new Trump Administration are named and they outline their priorities, the broad outlines of the new government’s housing policies are taking shape.  Further details won’t complete the picture until the weeks follow the inauguration. Even once they settle into office, some of the policy changes in store—especially reducing and revoking regulations—can take ... Read More »

Mortgage Approvals Soar 51% in Four Years

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As lending standards have loosened over the past four years, closing rates have steadily improved and in August, approvals rates for all mortgages were more than 50 percent higher than they were in August 2012, according to the latest Origination Insights report from Ellie Mae. Closing rates increased from less than half of applications—47.8 percent in 2014—to 72.3 percent of ... Read More »

Mortgage Insurance Soared in Second Quarter

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  Mortgage insurance activity, including insurance written by government programs like the FHA and VA as well as and private insurers, rose significantly to $189 billion, up from last quarter’s $140.2 billion and up 11 percent over 2015.  Though FHA’s market share fell to 34 percent in 2016 Q2 (from 41 percent the previous quarter), the private insurance market’s share ... Read More »

Mortgage Fees Rise Slowly

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Despite the increased costs of complying with new disclosure rules that took effect October requiring lenders to provide estimates for closing costs at the time borrowers apply, fees charged by lenders rose less than 2 percent last year. Mortgage fees went up only slightly this year, an exclusive Bankrate.com survey finds, even as lenders complain that new federal regulations have ... Read More »

Today’s Mortgage Borrowers Mean Business

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In the glory days of the housing boom, “pulse loans“ were popular.  (If you had a pulse, you could get a loan.)  Since those days, mortgage approval rates to buy a home have stayed roughly the same; in 2004, some 14.4 percent of purchase loan applications were turned down compared to 13.2 percent in 2014.[1] One might assume that access ... Read More »

Beware the Big Lie About Lending Standards

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Have you heard the three biggest lies? The check is in the mail. I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. It’s easier for young buyers to get a mortgage today because lending standards are looser than they were a few years ago. Here’s the truth.  Despite everything you may have heard or read, the median profiles for ... Read More »

Has Homeownership Become a Privilege?

Greedy Business Partners

  During the housing boom mortgage lending was available to people with a broad range of incomes. Since the bust, first-time buyers have become a more select group, according to a new analysis of Census data by BuildZoom’s Chief Economist, Dr. Issi Rorem. “In 2005 the annual number of first time home buyers in the U.S. hit an all-time high ... Read More »

Mortgage Credit: The Private/Public Paradox

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Next September, two months before the Presidential election, America celebrates eight years since the Treasury Department took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned them into wholly owned subsidiaries. Since then the federal government’s control over the nation’s housing markets has grown even greater than ever. While we’ve been waiting for policymakers to fix a broken system of housing, ... Read More »

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